The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

‘Seeing Newnan’ makes us take a look at ourselves


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Mar. 26, 2019 - 6:31 PM

The “Seeing Newnan” banners are up and making us take an extra look at our community and at ourselves.

Mary Beth Meehan’s photography captures a range of Coweta citizens – of all ages, incomes and races. The banners are huge, and the expressions are devoid of the usual “smile for the camera” look. As we look at them, we pause and ponder.

The ArtRez program has brought artists with varying skills and approaches to Coweta County. One artist created a “quilt” of seeds that became a garden, while others created a sculpture using old wooden molds that were once used at the R.D. Cole Company.

ArtRez stands on the shoulders of generations of Cowetans with an appreciation for art. The Newnan-Coweta Art Association has been around for decades, showcasing the work of local artists. The Francoise Gilot Gallery at the Nixon Center is the most visible public space for art, but there also are galleries and spaces in offices and government buildings where paintings, drawings and sculpture offer inspiration.

Meehan is a former newspaper staff photographer for the Providence (R.I.) Journal. The crisp clarity of her work reflects that background. Her first installation of photographs was in her hometown of Brockton, Massachusetts, in 2011.

Meehan and the people depicted in the banners will be at Redneck Gourmet on Friday at 6 p.m. during the Spring Art Walk. Her banners will be up for a year – giving all of us time to ponder, reflect and think about who our neighbors are – and who we would like to be ourselves.